Album review: The Rapture's 'In the Grace of Your Love'
Pity the record store clerk who accidentally files the Rapture’s “In the Grace of Your Love” in the Christian devotional section. The New York dance-punk acolytes (now a trio, minus the excellent bassist Matt Safer) soundtracked some of the most decadent nights out of the early aughts with cowbell-clanging singles that were so much fun, one might have missed how tight and ambitious this project was. After its sadly slept-on 2006 album “Pieces of the People We Love,” the band is back to its old label (DFA) but moving on to a genuinely uplifting revamp of its sound.
Though the band will forever be defined by the knife wound guitars of “House of Jealous Lovers,” the besotted rave synths of “Sail Away” and classic house jitters of “Come Back to Me” suggest this band was paying attention to first-generation club music long before it was a pop prerequisite.
Lead single “How Deep Is Your Love?” is the best piano-driven floor filler since their DFA label boss James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem cut “All My Friends,” and singer-guitarist Luke Jenner kills his soul-man turn on “Miss You,” which digs into straight Motown (ironically, the label the band left for this album). One of the toughest tricks for a band to pull off is to stay relevant after singlehandedly igniting a popular sound. But this album might actually be a devotional record of sorts — to downtown New York’s musical DNA, and to the idea that dancefloor hedonism can be its own kind of grace.
-- August Brown
“In the Grace of Your Love”
Three stars (out of four)